Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thoughts for Thursdays

I'm really liking hearing your thoughts on the past couple of quotes I've put up, and since I have so many, I think I am going to make it a permanent Thursday feature :)
"Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day" - Ernest Hemingway
I don't know if I'm allowed to disagree with this, because well, it's Hemingway, but I am going to.  I think the art of writing itself can be construed as being lonely--because most people do write when they are alone for that's when the ideas flow.  Yes, you probably do produce your best work whilst alone, but it doesn't have to be lonesome though.  Not all the time.  
To me, it's also about achieving that balance, which allows you to manage both writing and other aspects of your life.  And I know it's hard, especially when you're juggling several hats, and trying to fit far too many hours into one day, but somehow, we manage.  We make it work.  
Please share your thoughts on this - do you agree or disagree, and which side of the spectrum are you on?  What advice do you have for those who are struggling?

13 comments:

Jen said...

I'm with you on this one! I believe that at times being a writer can be a lonely life (in the social real world) but as a whole you have characters talking to you and other writers experiencing the same thing.

Then again loneliness is different to everyone.

Aubrie said...

I agree with you! You need to go out there and live life: that's what gives you fuel for your writing. It is a balance, and you need both.

Joanne said...

I wouldn't call it a lonely life. The act of writing is solitary, but to take it further to publishing a book, it's all about teamwork, from the writer to agent to editors to publisher to readers. So I'd disagree, thinking rather that it's a life rich in connections.

Mesmerix said...

I am an extremely social person. I love meeting people, having interesting conversations, and performing my music on stage in front of huge audiences. To be honest, I enjoy the fact that my writing is alone. It's peaceful, quiet, my away time for myself. When I share my creation, that's my return to the social world.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've 'met' more people through my writing than any other activity in my life. I do feel connected to the people I've met online, so between them and my characters, I don't feel lonely :)

Theresa Milstein said...

No matter where we are in our writing life, sitting down to write is probably filled with the same hopes and fears. We all struggle.

It's lonely when we write so we have to make sure to live too.

Palindrome said...

It's not lonely because if you didn't have experiences with actual people, you wouldn't be able to create as believeable characters or situations. I write better when I've spent time with people I love.

Amanda Sablan said...

When I write, I don't feel the least bit lonely because I'm so caught up in it. If I have something to concentrate on, all the emotions I feel have to do with that chore/movie/book and nothing else. Although I suppose if one were to spend most of their day writing (I don't) they'd lose out on a lot of social opportunities.

Melissa said...

I think you just OWNED Hemmingway. He isn't right and you are. Writing isn't lonely, not with the support system of the blogosphere, not with our friends and family supporting us. Heck, even our characters battle the loneliness.

I know when I'm writing, I don't feel lonely at all. How could I? I have my best friends with me and we're having an adventure!

WritingNut said...

Jen - Exactly - how can you be lonely with so much going on? But you're right - loneliness is different to everyone.

Aubrie - I really like that: that's how we get our fuel for writing.

Joanne - That's how I see it too, and you are correct - we are constantly making connections :)

Mesmerix - That's a great way of looking at it - a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Jemi - It's crazy, isn't it? And so true - I have too! Sometimes it's hard to believe.

Theresa - Exactly - those same hopes and fears are what connect us. We never have to feel lonely because we are all going through the same struggles.

Hannah - That's true - we need something to draw our writing from - living just in your head doesn't always work ;)

Amanda - I know - that's why I try to find some sort of balance, as hard as it may be.

Melissa - Hahahha, why thank you ;). Although someone, somewhere will probably kick my butt. And it's true, our characters can be great company too!

Julie Musil said...

I totally agree with you. Yes, we write while alone, but I don't feel lonesome at all. Especially since I became a part of this amazing blogging community. It's so nice to get on here and discuss this with like-minded people. This way I don't have to bore my dear husband and children with all my writing worries and details. That quote was a haunting one, though.

Krispy said...

I'm in agreement here too. :) Like you said, the ACT of writing is lonely because you usually do it alone, but the whole writing life thing doesn't have to be. Especially now with the interwebs, it's so easy for writers to connect with other writers - and we generally all understand the weird stresses and worries that we go through, which is comforting and not at all lonesome.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Writing requires us to be alone, to be able to write well without distractions or disruptions. But as there are so many characters with us in our mind, we are hardly ever alone. If we are not writing about our characters, we are thinking about them.
And, as we all blog, our loneliness has lessened as we meet other like minded people all the time.